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Confucius Institute at The College of The Bahamas Opens


By College of the Bahamas
Oct 18, 2012 - 5:07:02 PM

Nassau, BAHAMAS – The Confucius Institute at The College of The Bahamas was officially launched on Wednesday evening in special ceremony at the Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort that paid homage to the longstanding friendship between The Bahamas and the People’s Republic of China. The Institute succeeds the former Confucius Classroom started in 2009 through the collaboration of The College; the Office of Chinese Language Council International (HANBAN) and the Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology (NUIST).

President of The College of The Bahamas Dr. Betsy Boze said the Confucius Institute is more than a centre for lively and engaged learning. College administrators are looking forward to faculty exchanges and joint research.

“It is a portal to prepare our learners as global citizens. Thomas Friedman taught us how “The World is Flat” and how the world is becoming smaller, more connected. Communication: cross-cultural understanding and learning are vital for national resiliency. Language teaching and learning form the foundation for understanding and relating to different nations, cultures and economies,” she said.

Approximately 100 students have studied Mandarin at the Institute and about 16 persons have been granted scholarships to study in China since 2010. The College also offers Introductory Chinese as an academic course.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) reports that China is leading the world out of the global recession and has a key role to play in the long-term reform and rebalancing of the global economy. There is a solid history of over 15 years of friendship between The Bahamas and China represented not only in diplomatic relations, but also through technical cooperation and cultural exchanges.
“Those who understand other languages and cultures are at a distinct advantage, and have broader opportunities to excel. Students of the Confucius Institute are coming to appreciate the rich diversity of other cultures. They are learning how to adapt and work with people who may think differently than they do. That has vast implications for our national development,” said College President Dr. Boze.

Chinese Ambassador His Excellency Hu Shan viewed the Confucius Institute as a means a strengthening bi-lateral cooperation between The Bahamas and China.

“It is my hope and belief that more and more Bahamians will come to study the Chinese language at the Confucius Institute hereafter, and more and more local people who love the Chinese language will go to China for further study or travel. I also hope that more and more Chinese tourists and businessmen will come to The Bahamas for sightseeing or business opportunities. I am fully convinced that the friendly cooperation between our two peoples will further develop and the people of both countries will enjoy a happier and healthier life,” the Ambassador said.

In addition to students at The College of The Bahamas the Institute’s alumni base includes mothers and fathers; hospitality, healthcare and financial services professionals; others in the public and private sectors and high school students. With the increasing appetite for Chinese language and scholarships to study in China, college administrators expect even more robust enrolment.

Counselor of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China and Director General of HANBAN Xu Lin is enthused about the prospects.

“I believe that with our joint efforts, the Confucius Institute at The College of The Bahamas will achieve outstanding results and become the bridge between people in China and The Bahamas,” she wrote in a letter of congratulations that was read at the ceremony.

Currently, interested persons can take introductory, intermediate and advanced level Mandarin classes at The College or classes can be arranged at respective professional and school locations.